Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center

Whether you come to experience the natural beauty of the coulee region, the history of those who have lived here throughout time or the Norwegian heritage preserved in the buildings and artifacts; whether you take a class or attend a program, enjoy one of our special events, take the guided tour, spend the night in our Paulsen rental cabin or just come to wander the grounds on your own; Norskedalen has something unique and very special to offer.

Upon the purchase of the 112 acre Running farm in 1960, Dr. Alf and Carroll Gundersen saw the opportunity to create and preserve something of lasting benefit to the coulee region. Naming it ‘High Hope Springs’, over the years, they carefully planned and brought into being a series of plantings, landscaping and other improvements that transformed the coulee farm into a park-like setting full of wildflowers, meandering streams, bubbling springs and groves of pines and special plantings. The Gundersen spring is the largest spring in La Crosse County.

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Latitude: 43.666702 Longitude: -90.881897 Elevation: 1289 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Lori Dubczak

Recreational Opportunities

A lovely half-mile handicapped-accessible trail that is perfect for wheelchairs, strollers and walkers leads to the arboretum and man-made Gundersen Pond from the handicapped parking lot on the exit road. There are also benches along the route.

Come enjoy all of our nature trails! Wildflowers abound at Norskedalen thanks to the wide variety of ecosystems included in our 400 acres & 7 miles of hiking / birding / snowshoeing trails. As early as March, the spring ephemerals begin to dot the neutral landscape with bright spots of color; skunk cabbage sprouts by the arboretum springs then Pasque flower blooms on the high, rocky goat prairies, soon followed by hepatica, snow trillium, bloodroot and amethyst shooting star, just to name a few.

Nature doesn’t waste a single thing. The bucks that roam the wooded hillsides spend the spring and summer growing antlers that are shed in the fall. Sheds don’t last long as the squirrels, chipmunks and other rodents gnaw them for the precious minerals such as calcium and phosphorous.

Seasons Accessible

Year round.


$12 Adults, $3 Children.

Accessibility Notes

Easy walking with slight incline.

Pet Friendly Notes

Dogs on a leash allowed.

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